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Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen has promised Ethiopia will undertake investigation into any alleged human rights abuses in the country’s northern Tigray regional state.

Mekonnen, who is also Ethiopia’s acting Foreign Minister, made the remarks during a virtual speech he delivered on Wednesday at the 46th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

“Allegations of human rights violations including sexual violence is no doubt a matter of big concern for my government,” Mekonnen was quoted as saying by the Ethiopia state media outlet Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC). “We’re fully committed to undertake the necessary investigation and full accountability of all perpetrators.”

Mekonnen also said the Ethiopian government is committed to facilitating unfettered access to humanitarian relief as well facilitating access to media outlets who want to visit Tigray.

Months’ fighting between northern Ethiopia’s TPLF, which used to rule the Tigray regional state until last November, and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, has reportedly left thousands of people dead, and millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

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